It's hard to believe now but there was once a time when New York restaurant interiors looked like they were trying hard not to look cool, when there was no taxidermy or ironic tchotchkes littered around the room, when the menu wasn't filled with old school (albeit very good) lodge-ish dishes like hunters stew, potted pork, and grilled trout with an equally inspired cocktails menu. But we have Freemans to thank for that. Down a little-used alleyway on the Lower East Side,
trendsetting Freemans is as hip and popular as when it opened in 2004. Just don't try too hard to look cool.